11 Virtual Races to Start Your Summer Running Routine

5K, 10K and marathon races are on pause in 2020 but you can still get your fill of running fun at one of these virtual races put on by both local and national groups.

A group of people running a race

Whether it’s training to stay in shape or just excitement to escape to the outdoors, let the running work you’ve been putting in work for you (and maybe a charity, too). Virtual races have replaced in-person road races this summer, with the same awesome goodie bags, but without the crowded chutes. Here are a few to match your top times against those in the state and in the country.


Great Run Across Michigan

  • Cost: $34.99-$50
  • Distance: 115 miles, 386 miles
  • Swag: Finisher certificate and commemorative shirt for each member of the relay, medal (+$9.99)

Compete as an individual or a team (combine mileage) for the 70-day challenge of running from Iron Mountain to Copper Harbor. The money raised benefits Kelleigh’s Cause, a non-for-profit to raise awareness of arteriovenous malformations (AVM).

Couch to Keyworth by Detroit City FC

  • Cost: $29
  • Distance: 5K
  • Swag: Autographed DCFC team photo

Run, jog, bike, walk, wheel or crawl between June 21-27. Money raised benefits Detroit City FC/Detroit PAL Youth Select soccer program.

Run for the Ribbon

  • Cost: $30
  • Distance: 5K
  • Swag: Bib, medal, certificate of complete, “In Celebration of” sign and letter from the organization’s president

The MIU Men’s Health Foundation race is typically run at the Detroit Zoo, and this year’s virtual race asks for runs to be completed the weekend of June 21 (Father’s Day). Racers are encouraged to raise funds in addition to the race fee.

Oh MI Goddess

  • Cost: $40
  • Distance: 5K, half marathon
  • Swag: Medal, shirt and “Run Like a Goddess” facemask

Pick your distance and complete the run by July 12 to qualify for the Michigan MarathonHER. Race benefits Go Red for Women, Girls on the Run and Rebel Nell.

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Ann Arbor Sports Commission Firecracker 5K

  • Cost: $27-$37
  • Distance: 5K
  • Swag: Shirt, medal and facemask buff

Pick any day between July 4-31 to complete your run, then enter your time to be eligible for awards. A virtual awards ceremony will take place on Zoom on Aug. 3. This year’s featured charity is The University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center.


National Running Day 5k

  • Cost: $20
  • Distance: 1 mile or 5K
  • Swag: Finisher’s medal, shirt and bib

National Running Day is June 3, so runners prepping for a half marathon or other longer race this summer can pick up the swag just for prepping with a daily run.

Love Runs the World

  • Cost: $19.99-$50
  • Distance: 5K
  • Swag: Shirt, finisher’s certificate and medal (+$9)

Celebrate Pride Month with a virtual race that can be completed any time between June 1-30. Charity partners include: The Legacy Project Chicago, Outfront Minnesota and San Francisco LGBT Center.

Virtual Graduation Run

  • Cost: $28
  • Distance: Kids dash, 5K, 10K or half marathon
  • Swag: Medal (can be customized with tassel of school colors), sticker, temporary tattoo and shirt (+$10)

Celebrate the grad in your family with a run in your neighborhood, open park or treadmill at home by June 13. Two lucky high school grads will receive $1,000 scholarships.

Father’s Day Virtual

  • Cost: $19.99
  • Distance: 5K, 10K, 15K or half marathon
  • Swag: Your choice of medal (with or without bow tie) and assorted goodies

The dad in your crew can pick up an awesome medal with the distance of any choice. Race times must be entered by June 30.

Independence Day Virtual Race

  • Cost: $5-$39
  • Distance: 5K
  • Swag: Choice of bib, certificate and card, medal, shirt or tech shirt

Run between July 4-18 for a medal that includes red, white and blue ribbon. Sign up with a racing buddy or join the optional pen pal program to find one across the country.

Rockin’ Summer Race

  • Cost: $19.99
  • Distance: 5K, 10K, 15K, half marathon, marathon
  • Swag: Medal and assorted goodies

Run on a hilly course or on the treadmill by June 30 to earn the sun-soaked medal. All distances are the same entry cost.